DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay are going to Spain.
USA Basketball announced its final roster for this year’s FIBA World Cup and the two Sacramento Kings stars were not among the players cut from the team. Cousins and Gay become the first Sacramento Kings to represent America in international competition since Brad Miller, who was a member of the men’s team that won bronze in the 2006 World Championships.
“Since taking over the USA Basketball Men’s National Team program in 2005, this was without doubt the most difficult selection process we’ve gone through,” USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo said in a prepared statement. “I can’t stress enough the outstanding effort and commitment that has been given by each finalist. I also want to make it clear that this is not just about talent – each player is incredibly talented and each player offered us unique skills. In the end it was about assembling the best team, selecting guys who we felt would be able to best play the kind of style we envision this team playing.”
Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz, Chandler Parsons of the Dallas Mavericks, Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers were the four men let go from the roster.Following Friday night’s exhibition win over Puerto Rico, USA Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced to media that the team would carry just 12 players as they prepare to head to Europe on Saturday.
“The first thing is we are very pleased with the overall effort of every player who was a part of the process,” Krzyzewski said in a prepared statement. “To select twelve was difficult, because our pool is so good. As we go forward, we not only go forward as twelve, we go forward as a pool for USA Basketball. As a staff we want to thank the players who are not going forward.
“I’m excited about the 12 players selected and feel we have excellent versatility and the makings of a really good defensive team.”
The following players will join the two Sacramento Kings on Team USA’s trip to Spain.
- Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
- Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets
- James Harden, Houston Rockets
- Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
- Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors,
- Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
- DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
- Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
- Mason Plumlee, Brooklyn Nets
USA Basketball plays one more tune-up game against Slovenia in Gran Canaria, Spain before tipping off World Cup group play in Bilbao.
Editor’s Note (10:53 pm PT): Story corrected to state Cousins and Gay are the first Kings to play for USA in international competition since Brad Miller, not Mitch Richmond.